Journalism is the 4th pillar of a democracy. Anyone who’s ever been to a media class will tell you that. The problem with today’s journalism is that somehow the lines between real journalists, clowns shouting on TV and just PR people have systematically gotten blurred. So, in order to remind you, how different things could be, we made a list of incidents where journalists showed politicians their place during interviews. 

1. NZ journalist Tova O’Brien calls out right-wing politician Jaime Lee Ross for spreading fake news during the general elections.

O’Brien not only called his party out for spreading fake news about COVID but also told him that his career was basically over and this was the last time they were ever going to interview him. It has to be one of the most savage takedowns anyone has ever seen on LIVE TV. 

2. Indian journalist Faye D’Souza called out Goa Power and Environment Minister for repeatedly addressing her as  ‘Dear’ during an interview. 

Sexism is rampant in all walks of life and media is not independent of it. Despite women making great strides, every now and then someone comes along to patronise, to infantilise them among other things. Case in point, during this interview, minister Nilesh Cabral kept referring to D’Souza as ‘Dear’. 

This did not sit with the anchor as she told him that he could refer to her as Faye or Ms D’Souza, as is her name. 

I think it’s nice that you feel comfortable enough to address me as ‘my dear’ but for the sake of professionalism, I would appreciate being called Faye or Ms D’Souza, which is my name.  

3. PM Narendra Modi walking out of a Karan Thapar interview and telling him ‘Dosti bani rahe’ has now become a part of Indian pop culture. 

This famous interview lasted a total of 5 minutes. Modi was seen visibly uncomfortable by Thapar asking him about his role in the Gujarat riots as the state’s CM. 

4. Veteran CNN anchor Anderson Cooper took on Republican politician Scott Walker and questioned his absurd allegations that the then President-elect Joe Biden was somehow responsible for the civil unrest in USA. 

Cooper simply questioned the absurdity of what happened at Capitol Hill being blamed on Biden. That’s it. Walker then shut off his camera and blamed the whole thing on a technical glitch. 

5. In this 1997 interview on BBC, Jeremy Paxman grills Michael Howard over whether he forced the hand of the Director-General of the British Prison Service to fire a prison governor. 

And when Howard doesn’t answer the question and attempts a distraction, Paxman asks him the question again. And again. He asks him the same question at least 12 times. 

6. Years after he had to resign as the US President, Richard Nixon sat down to explain his actions and interviewing him was British journalist David Frost. To sum it all, Nixon came out of that interview looking worse than before. 

What was supposed to be a segment for the former President turned to defend his actions and scandals turned out to be a rough day as he was forced to say that those actions weren’t illegal because the President did them.

7. NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan asked BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra to apologise for his remarks or leave her show. He left. 

Call it an irony but Patra went on LIVE TV and and told Razdan than the channel she worked for had an agenda. Razdan stopped the interview midway and asked him to apologise or leave. 

8. When Karan Thapar asked former TN CM Jayalalitha about accusations against her of being undemocratic and vengeful and if she was just misunderstood, she took it personally and walked out of the interview. 

The interview saw Thapar ask her about having her political rival, 77-year-old Karunanidhi arrested, along with cases against government officials who had gone on a strike. Jayalalitha seemed visibly uncomfortable with the line of questioning and preferred to walk out of the interview. 

9. While this was primarily a shouting match and more entertainment than news, Rahul Kanwal still did ask the Hindu Yuva Vahini chief to leave the studio during a debate on moral policing.

Nagendra Singh Tomar and his gang of merry men had earlier barged into private property and seized two consenting adults. Kanwal asked him what right did he have to moral police two adults. This did not sit well with the politician as he threatened Kanwal after a very heated argument. Kanwal then asked him to leave the show. 

See, when journalists do their jobs, so do politicians. Well, not like we Indians know anything about that.